Review by Queso

"Wario takes the cake and eats it too!"

Nintendo finally did it. After re-releasing countless SNES games on Gameboy Advance they have finally struck platformer gold. In fact I would say ''Wario Land 4'' is the most original action platformer to come out in a VERY long time. And it sure does its best to impress! So much about this game shows off the Gameboy Advance’s potential that it is sure to grab most action game fans’ attention. Some may find small flaws, but for most the fantastic gameplay should more than satisfy.

One aspect this game ‘shows off’ in is, of course, the graphics department. Great character designs and artwork are shown in brilliant color schemes. And it doesn’t end there; the stages in this game are brilliantly designed also. So original, there is hardly any precedent for it besides maybe the original ''Mario Land'' series. But the creators have utilized the Gameboy Advance’s superior graphics well. The game almost seems to come to life at times. Like a small cartoon world, as strange as that sounds… And indeed it does sound, from your basic sound effects to full vocal songs on some stages! You’d almost expect it to have its own soundtrack!

Wario’s main goal in this game is, of course, to gain gold, money, riches, and other valuables. To do this he goes into a newly discovered pyramid, tomb raider style. The pyramid is divided into different paths for Wario to take, and each path has a few stages. In each of these stages Wario is transported to a different world where he must collect as much gold as possible while wreaking havoc on the local enemies. Along the way there are also some important items for him to collect. Among them four pieces to a larger gem, these are needed to reach the boss of each particular path. Other secrets and treasure can also be found scattered everywhere throughout. To beat the stage however, the game has two creative goals one must find. First, locating a key-shaped bird and then hitting a switch to re-activate the portal you entered from. Unfortunately this switch also activates a bomb, so Wario must make a hasty exit! As you go along each path the stages get more and more challenging, this keeps the game interesting…but if it gets too hard don’t lose your cool! Just stop for a minute and think, look around, the answer may be a combination of things. Just think creatively!

There are also some bonus games included within the game itself, but these are minor diversions with some rewards.

Things sure have changed since we first met our fiendish protagonist known as Wario. But he still retains some of his trademark moves. Wario still dashes madly about and he also stomps the ground rear first, rolls down hills, and smashes bricks. All in a day in the life of a treasure-hunter right? Well he does have a few new tricks, but personally I still would prefer to have him back to wearing different hats with different abilities. Maybe that’s just me though, I just haven’t gotten use to the controls yet…

Well its pretty obvious this game blew me away, there is certainly something to be said for the simple joys of a good platform game. ''Wario Land 4'' takes that and brings it up a notch. It takes the genre into a whole new era, hopefully we’ll keep seeing more and more games as creative as this one coming out…at least for Gameboy Advance anyway…

Gameplay – 10/10
Graphics – 10/10
Sound/Music – 10/10
Control – 7/10
Replayability – 9/10

Overall – 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/19/02, Updated 10/19/02

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